'I Noticed Your Title'

And other annoying messages I get as innovator at a health care system

I love my job as the director of primary care innovation for Cook Children’s. I love the support I get to be creative and try new things. I love the connections that having the title have enabled me to make across the country. I even love (some of the) pitches I get to consider new technologies, products or services.

I try to evaluate each pitch on the value of the service but it’s often hard not to separate the content from the style of the pitch. One of the biggest source of annoying (and humorous) pitches come in the form of LinkedIn messages. Email is probably a close second.

Here are some of the annoying things I frequently see (and how to improve them):

1)The pitch that comes right after we connected: Look, if I just accepted your request and then you’re pitching me it’s unlikely I’ll even read it. Maybe wait a day or two in order to see if I’ve forgotten that we just connected.

2)The “I saw your title” pitch. Honestly, this might be as much of a waste of time for you as for me. If you don’t know me, how do you know that my title has been updated in a while or what that title means. But I write and post a ton (even on LinkedIn but certainly on Twitter). Try “I noticed your post on x,y,z.”

3)The message with a ton of errors. Look, I work in social spaces and I publish quickly. So, I know it’s easy to let a typo here or there through. But when your content is a train wreck…

4)If you profile has titles like “world changer” or “guru,” I’m probably going to just move on. I don’t buy it.

Here are some suggestions for a pitch that will get my attention:

  • Keep it short and simple.
  • Write one sentence that proves you know me or something about me.
  • Give me a brief sentence about what you or your company does.
  • Transition from that statement to how you think it could help me.
  • Send me a few ways to contact you.

Get to know Justin Smith, M.D.

Justin Smith, M.D., is a pediatrician and the Medical Advisor for Digital Health for Cook Children's in Fort Worth, Texas. He has an active community on both Facebook and Twitter as @TheDocSmitty and writes weekly for Cook Children's checkupnewsroom.com. He believes that strategic use of social media and technology by pediatricians to connect with families can deepen their relationship and provide a new level of convenience for both of their busy lifestyles.Dr. Smith’s innovative pediatric clinic, a pediatric clinic “designed by you,” is set to open in Trophy Club in 2017.